cover image Stillhouse Lake

Stillhouse Lake

Rachel Caine. Thomas & Mercer, $15.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4778-4866-1

Bestseller Caine (the Morganville Vampires series) poses an interesting question in this rapid-fire thriller: what happens to a wife who didn’t know her husband abducted, flayed, tortured, and dismembered young women in their Wichita, Kans., garage? After finding out, Gina Royal was arrested, separated from her two sons, put on trial, then acquitted. For the next four years, she was pursued unmercifully by online abusers who still believed her a guilty accomplice to Mel Royal’s atrocities. Gina has now transformed herself into tough Gwen Proctor, licensed to carry a .357 Magnum. With Mel incarcerated, Gwen hopes to make a safe home and normal life in rural Stillhouse Lake, Tenn., for herself and her troubled boys. But the discovery of a body in the lake and the appearance of threatening letters rock the boat of her new life. For help, she can turn to Javi, her shooting instructor; Absalom, an enigmatic computer presence; and Sam, a kind-looking stranger new to the area. Caine spins a powerful story of maternal love and individual self-realization that cries out for at least one redeeming sequel. Compelling characters and plenty of credible plot twists compensate for a too-predictable climax. (July)